Island Issues

I Kneed To Take A Break!

I Kneed To Take A Break!

sp0000000270002_1282098221Due to a mechanical failure with my right knee I will not be posting a blog for the next couple of weeks. If everything goes the way I hope it will the next Blog will be June 10.My right knee appears to have suffered irreparable damage over the years, and according to the specialist that I consulted it is being recalled and will be replaced by one that he says is as good — if not better — than the original. However, it appears there was no warranty on the original, and the cost of the replacement will be between me and my insurance company, sort of like automobile comprehensive coverage.

I’ve been wondering if the specialists that are handling this procedure will do what many automotive mechanics do when replacing worn out parts, and toss the old one in the trunk to prove to you that it really was worn out and actually needed replacement.

When I was kid my Mother had an operation to have gall stones removed, and for reasons that I’ve never understood, she asked the doctors to give them to her when she was discharged from the hospital. She displayed them in a small, clear, sealed bottle of formaldehyde on a coffee table in our living room. They made a interesting conversation piece when people visited, picked up the bottle and asked: “What’s this?” When told, their expressions as they delicately placed the bottle back on the table, may have been what Mom had in mind.

Anyway, back to my bum knee. The doctor who is in charge of this replacement procedure is a personable chap with a thick Irish brogue named Gavin Duffy, and based on his heritage I’m assuming that there will vast quantities of Guinness involved…….hopefully on my part and not his or the anesthetist.

I’ve had operations in my youth to remove unnecessary parts, e.g. tonsils and an appendix, that the experts in charge told me were extraneous appendages, not worth replacing as they were worthless. I’ve never understood that. Are they like the “close door” buttons on elevators that aren’t really connected to anything, but give you something to do while you’re waiting for the door to close?

The knee, however, is a different matter. The replacement part is nothing like the original, as those are really difficult to come by these days. I understand the new part is made out of titanium and is immune to oxidation, doesn’t need gaskets, springs, levers, cranks, nails, motors, fans, belts, spindle pushers, or other stuff like that. I’m assuming it will come with a slot to insert lubricants, and I’ll have to carry a can of WD40 around with me at all times? I’ll have to ask.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to this operation, but do hope that following the replacement I will no longer resemble Deputy Chester Goode hobbling behind the U.S. Marshall Matt Dillon. I’d also like to thank friends Cal Atwood, Bob Weintraub and Tony Crawford, who have undergone this surgical procedure, for their advice and encouragement.

Following the operation, if you stop by the house to visit, don’t bother asking what’s in the jar on the coffee table….I think you’ll know.


Steve Raszkin:  One of my best friends on the island, and a man that I never heard say a bad word about anyone, passed away this week, unexpectedly, and I am still having problems absorbing his death. Steve Raszkin, the owner of “A Taste of Wine by Steve” died Thursday, and his passing still has me gasping. Steve was diagnosed with non Hodgkins T cell Lymphoma just three weeks ago. His wife Donna said: “He passed away this morning (Thursday, May 19, 2016) at Warner Hospice after a very brave face off to this rare and deadly disease.” Steve’s courageous and wonderful wife, Donna, added that Steve made decisions for himself in a calm and incredibly focused way at the end making sure “I was going to be OK. Of course, I am not OK. I am thankful I could be by Steve ‘s side every second until the end. I’m absolutely heartbroken and my life will never be the same. NEVER.” Services for Steve will be Monday, May 23, at Oxley Heard funeral home in Fernandina at 11 a.m. Visitation begins at 10. Burial is  in Evergreen cemetery in Jacksonville at 3:30. In lieu of flowers, donations to Warner Center asks the family. I am at a loss for anything else to say….he was such a good friend and I am so grateful I stopped by to chat with him a few weeks ago. I will miss my friend desperately.


News-Wrecker Wreckage: Last Friday evening a local 8th grade science teacher told me that he periodically assigns his students a project that requires them to research a scientific topic and then submit a report on it and to identify the source material for their investigation. According to the teacher a recent submission detailed a massive iceberg sitting off Main Beach that imperiled Amelia Island. Attached as the kid’s “source” was the front page News-Wrecker story headlined “Massive Iceberg Threatens Island.” Apparently there is little is any parental involvement in that kid’s education and if there is any that would be even more frightening.


Do You Want Change With That? Does it bother anyone other than me when you pay with cash in a bar or restaurant and a server asks: “Do you want change?” To me that person is asking for a tip no matter what kind of service has been rendered. I’m always tempted to ask: “How much do you think your service was worth?” The other day I stopped at one of my favorite places for a beer, paid the gal with a five dollar bill for a two dollar brew, and she asked: “Do you want change?” The actual bill came to $2.14 with tax so that would have given her $2.86 for a two dollar beer that someone else, not her,  put in front of me. I intended to leave two bucks. But because she asked I said: “Yes I want change.” She then handed me two bucks back and said: “I don’t have 86 cents in change” and quickly walked away.” She only got the 86 cents because she disappeared faster than I could object. When I go there in the future I’ll request that she doesn’t wait on me again. These are the people that Bernie Sanders says deserve $15.00 an hour?


The English Language — RIP: In a recent issue of the Weekly Standard writer Erin Mundahl wrote a piece on how corporations and business schools butcher the English language when students and business people write to each other in meaningless gibberish leaving the reader searching in vain to understand what the heck they’re going on about. The author opens the piece saying “Business schools are like sanatoriums for the English language — places where words go to languish and softly fade, easing towards a coughing, clichéd death.” After reading this I dug through an old file to retrieve a memo I received from a person at IBM Headquarters in 1981. Here is the memo in which the subject was “CIBS Installation Schedule”: “Due to the recent reorganization changes recently announced, we have reviewed the installation schedules previously approved by you in 1980. This was done to see if any major changes might be required as a result of the reorganization. In our judgment, no major changes are required. Nevertheless, we are submitting a revised schedule for your review. We have made some changes to the certain locations and these are highlighted in a comparison schedule which is attached to the new installation schedule.” To this day I still have no idea what that memo was about and have no idea what CIBS is. I’m sure that this person was just “reaching out to team members about this dynamic new opportunity that would empower them to remain relevant and competitive in a challenging work environment.” I ignored it and nothing bad happened…..yet!


Things I Wish I’d Said: “The Bernie Sanders campaign could mass-produce bumper stickers boldly touting ‘Bolsheviks for Bernie’ sandwiched between grinning faces of Marx and Lenin and our contemporary products of the American university system would shrug and cheer.” — Historian Paul Kengor.


A $2.50 Difference: The only policy difference I can see so far between Bernie Sanders’s campaign and Hillary Clinton’s is that Sanders wants a federally mandated $15 minimum wage and Clinton is saying that it should be $12.50. Other than that they both favor bigger government, a nanny state, higher taxes, anti-business legislation, and gifts for everybody at the expense of the ordinary working guy’s pay check. He’s a grumpy, goofy old man with a honking Brooklyn accent and she’s an empty pants suit with a cackle, and both of them want to continue the disaster that is the Obama Administration.


Speaking Of Politics: What exactly are the policy issues that Hillary Clinton is running on? All I’ve seen and heard is a litany of banalities and vagueness. Her supporters can project on her anything they want as it appears that she hasn’t got the faintest idea of what she would do if elected except cart around her traditional basket of liberalism and continue the disastrous Obama administration policies. The only thing that matters to Hillary fanatics is that Republicans are very, very evil people. Unlike Hillary, Donald Trump has made his policies very clear, no matter if you like them or him. He doesn’t seem to care. He’s not out to lead the Republican party. His sole interest is leading the nation. It will be an interesting race between a very unlikeable, cranky, dishonest, habitual liar and a boisterous, egotistical, hothead that kicked conservatism to the curb with his own brand of politics called “Trumpism,” which is American rage giving the middle finger to the Washington establishment, including both political parties.


Restrooms Get No Rest: Friend Deb Boelkes, who heads up a local branch of the conservative group We The People, is also a very concerned parent and grandparent and sent me an email this week that I agree with 100 percent. She is asking folks that feel strongly about the recent actions and potential adverse consequences of the Obama Administration’s Transgender Decree to Public Schools to send an email to Governor Rick Scott as he may be the only person in the state of Florida who can do something to prevent this absurd precedent from taking hold here. I’ve sent my letter based on the one issued by Deb and if you want to do the same please feel free to use the following while making your own personal adjustments:

Dear Governor Scott – Subject: Transgender Bathrooms in Public Buildings and Schools. (As a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, etc,) I hope you will do all you can to stop the insanity. I find it abhorrent that the Obama Administration is blackmailing our schools and putting all women and children across the nation at extreme risk by mandating we allow anyone of the opposite sex (including pedophiles and perverts) into public restrooms and, worse yet, into locker rooms and showers in our public schools. I never dreamed parents would be forced to pull their kids out of public schools just to ensure they are safe from voyeurism, exploitation, and perversion in restrooms and physical education classes. But here we are. Please do whatever is necessary to protect the women and children of your state.

To o make it easy for you, here is the link to send Governor Rick Scott a message:

Nearby Clay County officials said in no uncertain terms that they intend to ignore the Obama Administration’s directive while Nassau County school officials told Mary Maguire of the online newspaper NCFL Independent to hold off on their complaints to school officials as girls and boys hereabouts will continue to use the facility of their gender. St. Johns officials say they’re reviewing the directive and Duval schools, which already are some of the worst in the state and a disciplinary and academic chaotic mess, are allowing any kid that feels like it to use whatever locker room, shower, restroom, etc. they want and are facing a major lawsuit over it. Once the loopy liberals start a full court press to stuff as many folks of both sexes as possible into a bathroom stall I wouldn’t be so sure other school officials won’t cave. I wonder what Janet Adkins and Kathy Burns, the two leading candidates for Nassau County School superintendent, have to say on the subject? Ladies?

Locally We The People will conduct three events in June as follows: June 6: Aaron Bean; June 15: Todd Wilcox, candidate for US Senate; June 27: Debate for State Attorney, 4th Judicial District, with Angela Corey, Wes White and Melissa Nelson. For more information on We The People and its local meetings contact Deb at


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Amelia Tavern has hit the right button as every night I been in it or even walked or driven past, the place is full of folks who look like they are having a good time. The folks in charge there are still tweaking the menu and adding and deleting as their customers request and soon they’ll have the license from the “Federales” giving them permission to crank up the huge brewing vats sitting behind those interior windows. Who knows, we may be able to buy Amelia Tavern brewskies in Milwaukee eventually. Restaurateur Tim Poynter has also hit the jackpot with his Timoti’s concept, as the recently opened one in Jacksonville’s Riverside area has just received another in a series of rave reviews, this one a front page Florida Times-Union Dining section opinion Saturday, May 14 that featured five color photos of the 1043 Park Street location and its food selections. Tim’s Karibo, Karibrew and Timoti’s North 3rd Street locations in Fernandina Beach have never even warranted a mention in the local News-Leader due to Publisher Foy Maloy’s irrational and passionate dislike for Poynter, who also serves as a city commissioner. In fact the News-Leader tends to ignore anything new in Fernandina Beach at all or for that matter anything considered news. The Battle of the Beach BBQ & Bluegrass Festival will be held June 10-11 with some 75 BBQ competitors signed up to compete at the Main Beach event. The city’s Jay Robertson has done a great job again and I have no idea if I’ll be in any shape to hobble over there by that time, but I’ll keep the windows open to get a whiff of the offerings. If you want to have good fun with good people for a good cause this Sunday evening, May 22 from 5:30-8:30, then you’ll want to buy a $50 ticket that includes an hour of food and drink at the Pajama Life store at 12 South 2nd Street downtown , then a two hour BYOB cruise with live music by Jim Barcaro and witty conversation with Pajamadave Voorhees. There will also be an on-board cash raffle with proceeds from all of this craziness going to Nassau County’s Micah’s Place, a center for domestic violence victims. For tickets call ’em at 904/491-6364 or go to  or call ’em at 904/261 9972. Hurry, they’re selling fast.  North 2nd Street’s Hola Cuban Cafe behind the Palace Saloon and across the street from Dog Star, is now featuring an interesting treat to cool off with its new all-natural ice pops.  The flavors vary, but include Guanabana, strawberry, coconut, blueberry basil and coconut as well as ice pops with alcohol in two flavors – Sangria and Killer Whale Beer, proprietor Marisol Triana tells me.


Quinn Smith - 03. Jun, 2016 -

I like that George Clements guy….He seems to know you all too well! Hopefully you didn’t give the medical staff too much grief….after all, they do play with sharp objects…at your expense. Truly hoping you are on the mend. I had been wondering if/when you had surgery and apologize for being too wrapped up in my own issues that I haven’t maintained contact. I’ll try to email after this weekend….I have some online training to complete with a deadline.

Tom Yankus - 26. May, 2016 -

You should donate your bum knee to our Braves. Manager Fredi now Brian Snitzer are making so many trips to the mound that they need a spare. Take care my friend.

John batchelor - 20. May, 2016 -

Good luck with the knee Dave – you need to round up your advisers (Tony Crawford, etc) contact your favorite lawyer (Hillary!!!!) and start a class action against the original knee designer/manufacturer. Hope the recovery is quick so that your frustration at not being able to “kick-a…” Is not too much for Linda to bear.
I will miss your updates on what the News Leader did not print, gave up my sub to it this year so now, don’t even know what they do print.
Again – good luck – stay Grumpy – like the rest of us of a certain vintage
Looking forward to your return.

Steven Crounse - 20. May, 2016 -

Dave, Didn’t know Steve Reszkin, But know his Beautiful wife Donna from the years she worked at Public Markets, working to help Steve launch “A Taste of Wine” A very nice tribute to the Man. Good luck with the knee replacement, seems like every other person these days is part Bionic.
After that you again, ran off the rails as you predictably do each week with your Rants. I too have an issue with bartenders asking, ” Do you want any change” As you, I like to make the tipping decision on my own. That being said, these guys and gals are working in an Industry were it’s common for the establishment to pay them $5.00 an hour. So that equates to $200.00 for 40 hr. before Taxes, which no one works, because the establishment would have to pay, workman’s comp. and some benefits. These aren’t high school kids, picking up a few extra bucks, to buy a used car or go to the prom with Susie. I’ve got to admit, admittedly I’ve not been in as many Bars as you, but I’ve only heard that question once, and I did the same as you. But don’t lump the wait personal all together. It’s tough living with a roof over your head and food on the Table, on $200 bucks a week. Just sayin’
Your thoughts on Bernie Sanders are predictable, but my God Dave, Donald trump, ” Has made his policies very clear” Policies? Hate filled rhetoric, against the Handicapped/Special Needs, Muslim Faith or Latino, Anybody not a “Wasp” including any Woman he doesn’t want to bed down. Family Values? He’s a Fascist, Bigoted, Egotistical,and a Narcissist. With only one priority, Donald Trump. You did get back on the Rails, with The Amelia Tavern, and Tim Poynter. My hats off to Tim, It’s unfortunate, Tim had to go out of Town to build the family business. Remember he wanted to rehab an abandoned building into a Micro-Hotel. The City could not or would not, modify the Zoning. We were all losers for that. We Need more Tim Poynter in this Community.

tony crawford - 20. May, 2016 -

SUCK IT UP PUSSY CAT— They are replacing your knee not your fingers, or brain. Yo don’t type using your knee. We’ll leave it at that. Not much to do after you get home but sit around and wish you were out. The drugs may cloud your mind, but not to worry, many of us who love to read your blog may not even notice. May the replacement go well and you recover fast and while taking all the pian meds may you only dream of Hillary and Bernie.

Mary Gorman - 20. May, 2016 -

So sorry to hear about Steve. My sympathies to his wife and family. Good luck and speedy recovery for your knee operation, Dave! I’ll miss your Friday blogs.

George Clements - 20. May, 2016 -

Dave, I always thought your drinking elbow would give out before a knee since you certainly have spent more time in bars than church. My thoughts are now with the medical people who must deal with you. Good luck to everyone!

Bill Anderson - 20. May, 2016 -

Heart breaking news about Steve, he will be missed. Good luck with your knee replacement and don’t worry, knees are overrated and don’t come into play much on a bar stool.

Carol Ann Atwood - 20. May, 2016 -

Love and luck with the new knee, enjoy the blog!!!
Carol Ann

Dave Seaman - 20. May, 2016 -

Dave….Sorry to hear about Steve. I called him after your last blog where you posted his number….glad I did.
Good luck with the knee…..Does this mean no Preakness pool at FHI?

Dave Seaman

Dave Lott - 20. May, 2016 -

Wishing you a fast and complete recovery from your upcoming knee replacement surgery.